```Date: Dec 2, 2012 6:11 AM
Author: GS Chandy
Subject: Re: In "square root of -1", should we say "minus 1" or "negative 1"?

I've always wondered why (and still do wonder why) we even have to call it the "square root of -1" at all [whether that's taken to be 'minus 1' or 'negative 1'].  Why not just call it, say, 'i'? [Which has the property i (x) i = -1].  Yes, it does indeed happen that i(squared) = -1 -- but so what?  I don't believe there are any other consequences.Then, we can define 'complex numbers' as 'entities' consisting of a combination of real numbers and real numbers (x)i.  And also: just do away with the '+' sign in a complex number.The complex number is simply: (a, ib) - and it obeys all the necessary rules for us to be able to treat it as a mathematically meaningful object.  Experts in pedagogy might like to investigate and pronounce on this suggestion.I have not explored this idea in depth - but it might well serve to reduce (in some small measure at least), the difficulties of students struggling with the *complexification of thought* brought on by 'complex numbers' and 'imaginary numbers', etc.  I seem to recall several of my classmates in school actually reduced to tears by complex number arithmetic!Now, here is what I believe is a real 'pedagogical issue related to math' - of the kind that Haim claims does not exist!GSC("Still Shoveling Away!")Message was edited by: GS Chandy
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